Peter Monkman’s martial arts training began in the late 1930’s at the Budokwai in London.
During WW2 Peter joined the forces and was sent out to the Far East. He was on the first expedition into the Burmese jungle with the Chindits, who were the largest of the allied Special Forces of the War. After recovering from his ordeal in the Burmese jungle he was sent to North Africa and joined the LRDG (Long range Desert Group) which was the forerunner to the SAS. He received parachute training and was dropped into Northern France in Operation Overlord, (the D day landings) with the Parachute Regiment. He was awarded the Burma Star, the Africa Star and the European Star. Some time later Peter spent about six months at Fort Brag USA helping train soldiers for jungle warfare.
After the war, Peter went back to his Judo training and in 1958, opened his own club behind a small shop in Hatfield.
He still continued to train at the Budokwai. In 1955 Kenshiro Abbe the famous Japanese Judo champion arrived in London. Although Judo was Peter’s main interest, he now practiced the other Budo arts of Aikido, Kendo and Karate under Sensei Abbe. Peter Monkman’s Shodan certificate bears the names of sensei’s Abbe and O’Tani. Abbe stayed with Peter for a while in Hatfield and taught at Peter’s club.
Throughout Peter’s life he would often gleefully refer to techniques that Sensei Abbe had taught, One night Peter and Abbe were walking through an underpass in Hatfield, lurking were some lads who appeared to be up to no good. Abbe, who was carrying a walking stick, went up to the lads and asked “please, could you tell me the way to the bayonet practice”. The lads looked at each other, raised their eyebrows, and walked off, much to Sensei Abbe’s amusement.
40 Years of Getting Kicks – View PDF